I’m not sure what compelled me so irresistibly to click on Kanye West’s video for “Bound 2” when I came across it on my daily morning Internet news blitz. I find Kanye to be insufferably obnoxious (as I got into here, and I’ve never liked his music at all (which I discussed here).
I also have a distaste for the public persona of Kanye’s wife and costar in the video, Kim Kardashian (which I explored here). So why did I so eagerly watch a video starring two people I don’t like?
I don’t quite know, but I did, much the same way I can’t stop myself from probing a sore tooth with my tongue every 20 seconds, and with similar results.
As the glitchy, poorly orchestrated rollout of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, aka the End Of America As We Know It, continues to make the Iraq War look like a gold medal synchronized swimming routine by comparison, the president’s approval ratings, public opinion on the law itself, and general approval of the very concept of government are sinking. The two sides in the debate have dug in and appear farther from agreement (or, more importantly, cooperation) than ever.
The Republicans, who have been less than willing partners (to put it lightly) in Obamacare’s implementation, are taking these first troubled months as proof positive that they have been right all along: that Obamacare won’t work, can’t work, was ill-conceived from the very beginning (a curious position, considering that it was Republicans who originally conceived it, but never mind), is a giant step toward Communism, etcetera.
The Democrats, for their part, are arguing just as rigidly that everything is going to be fine the moment the healthcare.gov website starts functioning, that Obamacare is already a roaring success in the 16 states that have cooperated with it from the beginning, that the only thing stopping the new law from working as designed is the intransigence and sabotage of its political enemies (who, it bears repeating, originally conceived it, but never mind).
It’s become a new holiday-season tradition: every year about this time, the right-wing loonies on the Internet and Fox News start their jabbering about the supposed “War On Christmas”: The insdious, ongoing (imaginary) effort by the “Secular Left” to stigmatize, suppress, and ultimately destroy the holiday.
Anyone who’s ever spent five minutes in an American city in November or December knows perfectly well that Christmas is doing just fine. It feels the height of understatement to say it is in no danger of extinction. But the fact that some people prefer to say “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas” to strangers, thus acknowledging the possibility that said stranger might not actually be Christian and celebrate one of the other holidays that happens in December, represents to some an assault on their right to celebrate Christmas.
Last Saturday night we all moved our clocks back an hour, as we do every fall. It was great news for the Saturday night revelers, as they got an extra hour to drink and snort themselves awesome, not so great news for the bartenders serving them, or those of us with young kids who get up when they get up, no matter what the clock says.
It was already getting dark earlier and earlier before the clock turned back an hour, marking the end of “Daylight Savings Time,” so now we can look forward to the sun being all the way down tonight at 4:30pm. (I guess it’ll also be light out at 6:30 tomorrow morning, which is good for milkmen and farmers, I guess.)
It’s always struck me as strange that we can just change the time. The idea that the government can just get together and decide that it wants the clock to say 6pm when it’s really 7, or vice versa, seems a bit draconian, the kind of thing that libertarians and tea party types forever hollering about totalitarian dictatorship ought to have a problem with. You mean the GOVERNMENT can just CHANGE THE TIME — the one absolutely universal commodity known to every plant and animal on this planet — because the farmers want it to stay light longer in the summer? OVERREACH! FASCISM! SOCIALISM! DEFINITELY SOME KIND OF -ISM!